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Is Ford Semi Committed? Maker Reveals EV Concept Truck


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Michael Strong, The Detroit Bureau  /  September 28, 2018

Does Tesla have another competitor in the battery-electric semi truck arena? Maybe.

Ford Motor Co. took the wraps off an electric semi truck concept called the F-Vision at the 2018 IAA Commercial Vehicles expo in Hanover, Germany. The company’s vision is similar in many ways to Tesla’s offering with a high level of autonomy and a sleek exterior design.

However, it would appear that Elon Musk and the gang in Palo Alto can breathe easier – at least about this anyway – as Ford says the new F-Vision is only a concept.

Unlike auto shows, generally when a maker says something is a concept, there is some lag time between denial (i.e. “It’s just a concept”) to voila! (i.e. “You can put your deposit down now”).

Obviously, Tesla is the biggest exception to that “rule.”

The F-Vision concept is Ford Trucks’ vision on electrification, autonomous and connected drive, lightweight and zero carbon emission products. It cares about humans’ priorities both inside the cab and on the road, as well as the load being carried, and aims constantly to connect with the environment and users and communicates, the company notes.

Ford's global design and engineering center for heavy trucks and engines, Ford-Otosan in Turkey, created the F-Vision concept. Not only is the exterior futuristic looking, but the actual vehicle possesses some features one might not expect. Of course, it’s autonomous and can link automatically with its trailer. It can convoy with other vehicles.

However, if also features cameras in place of side mirrors, and an automatically tinting windshield. It’s said to be capable of automatically linking with its trailer, as well as operating in a linked-together convoy mode.

If Ford does bring it to market, it’ll not only have the aforementioned Tesla truck to contend with, but also Volvo. The Swedish truckmaker is working furiously on its Vera electric semi concept. The truck has no cab at all because it’s entirely autonomous.

Additionally, other companies in the segment, like Freightliner and Cummins, aren’t just sitting idly by. Ford may also need to inspect its new F-Vision closely to ensure it’s not too much like Nikola Motors entry into the segment.

Nikola sued Tesla earlier this year and could be awarded up to $2 billion in damages if it finds in favor of the company’s suit. Nikola’s case, however, isn’t looking too good. Recently, the United States Patent and Trademark Office found that the two designs differ enough to award separate patents. If Nikola fails to win in court against the troubled Tesla, its odds of successfully suing Ford would be even smaller still.

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It seems to me that from Dearborn's standpoint, Otosan-Ford isn't much more than the source of the Transit Connect.  Beyond that there seems to be no interest in anything Otosan does.  Case in point, the new award-winning Otosan heavy truck didn't so much as rate a mention in any of Ford's domestic media. 

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5 hours ago, RoadwayR said:

It seems to me that from Dearborn's standpoint, Otosan-Ford isn't much more than the source of the Transit Connect.  Beyond that there seems to be no interest in anything Otosan does.  Case in point, the new award-winning Otosan heavy truck didn't so much as rate a mention in any of Ford's domestic media. 

I have to agree.  Between the F-Max and the EV, you would think they would generate some sort of press release about these two accomplishments.. In particular when the financial press gets absolutely nothing positive out of Hackett's buzz word statements.  With Tesla and Nickola getting a lot of attention with their respective electrification efforts , a good opportunity for Ford to get some press-or should I say "lost opportunity".

 

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I want to say its shocking, but we're talking about the crowd that spent US$500 million on the HN80 and then turned around and sold America's best new heavy truck (at that time) to the Germans for just US$200 million. I guess.......Ford had $300 million to burn.

Seemingly, Ford doesn't want its 58 remaining U.S. truck-only Ford Truck dealers to know they're back in the heavy truck business in a serious way.....in the global market.

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23 hours ago, Maxidyne said:

This is one of the biggest events in Ford truck history, surpassing the Transcontinental and rivaling the Louisville introductions in importance... And Ford HQ seems to want to keep it a secret?

Could be it doesn't fit Hackett's agenda........remember this guy is a "cerebral thinker"!  Ford stock jumped a bit this AM but that is because of some positive news on the Canada trade issue.  Be patient..Hackett should be issuing another profound bullsh*t statement on "fitness" and that will drive it back down!

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